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J. D. Kestner's doll head mold # 171 appears to have been a very popular and successful face made over a long period of time as there are many such dolls in museum and private collections. The face became so popular perhaps because the doll appeared often in the pages of "The Ladies' Home Journal" as the illustrated doll of "Lettie Lane," a popular paper-doll series created for the Journal by Sheila Young. When editors promoted subscriptions for the magazines in 1911, they offered an 18-inch version of the doll, called Daisy, to any girl who sold three subscriptions. This particular doll at 30 inches tall does not share the Daisy name, but she shares the unmistakably sweet Daisy face. German entrepreneur J. D. Kestner began making a variety of toys around 1805, and the company continued by his descendents remained operating until 1938. Better known for the bisque dolly-face dolls of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Kestner also produced papier-mâché dolls, dolls of wax over composition, and china doll heads. By 1846 Kestner's enterprises employed 1,264 laborers, 423 of which were children younger than 14 years, and the dolls they produced were considered of the finest quality available from German manufacturers.

  • Manufacturer: Kestner & Co.
  • Material: bisque | paint | composition | fabric | mohair | glass
  • Origin: Germany
  • Style: character
  • Object ID: 112.8534
  • Credit Line: Gift of JoEllen Meath in Memory of Cecelia Brauner Kihl
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